Frequently Asked Questions

A Certificate of Sponsorship – abbreviated as a ‘CoS’ – is a type of work permit that can only be issued by a Grade A UK sponsor who are given a license by the UK Visa & Immigration department. For visa nationals, a Certificate of Sponsorship is submitted alongside their entry clearance application prior to arrival to the UK in order to receive a visa vignette, if entry clearance is successfully granted.

For non-visa nationals and EEA nationals coming for under 3 months, a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), or commonly known as a work permit, has to be issued and presented to a Border Force Officer, requesting permission to enter at the port along with evidence of savings, if the sponsor does not certify the maintenance on the CoS.

It should however be noted that non-visa nationals and EU nationals who decide to use this concession are still subject to the general grounds for refusal set out in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules. As a result, an applicant who has had an adverse immigration history, or past criminal convictions is advised to hold a successful entry clearance (visa sticker) in their passport prior to arrival into the UK.

As stated in the guidelines by the Home Office, the definition of an ‘artist’ is “anyone coming to the UK to undertake an activity that is connected to the arts (literature, performing arts, visual arts, culinary arts).”

The entourage of the artist can also accompany the artist, entertainer or musician to the UK providing that they have been employed to work for them abroad. The personal or technical staff within the entourage could cover the following roles, artist manager, personal security, make-up artist, stage manager, press officer, choreographer and personal trainer if they are essential to the smooth running of the tour.

The types of artists could cover but not limit to the following list:
• Artists
• Musicians
• Singers
• Writers
• Conductor
• Photographers

Entertainers who are based overseas who have confirmed work engagements in the UK can apply via the creative worker route/. Examples of entertainers can come from the performing arts, dance troupes, comedians, members of circus acts.

A Certificate of Sponsorship is a digital document detailing all the key work details of that migrant, previously used to be issued by sponsors via the governments Points Based System – Tier 5 route. This has now been replaced by a new immigration route allowing foreign workers to apply for entry into the UK for temporary work purposes under various circumstances, including as a creative worker. In all cases creative workers require to be sponsored by a UK licensed and authorised sponsor in order to apply on this route.

In order to be eligible for a CoS or commonly known as a Work Permit under the Temporary Work – Creative worker route, the creative person must ‘make a unique contribution to the UK’s rich cultural life’. Creative workers include, but are not limited to those who work in film, television, media, fashion, music, dance, theatre sectors.

There must not be a gap longer than 14 days in between work engagements whilst in the UK on a Temporary Work – Creative worker visa. Any time spent for other overseas engagements by the temporary worker outside of the UK during the active period of their Certificate of Sponsorship work dates do not count towards the 14-days calculation.

So, if the worker leaves the UK and returns within the visa validity date, their next work engagement must be within 14 days of their previous work engagement in the UK, excluding their stay abroad. Essentially, the migrant’s ‘stopwatch’ has been paused once they are out of the UK, and ‘restarted’ when they arrive back into the UK. In total, the migrant must not have been absent from work engagements in the UK for 14 days excluding their time spent abroad.

The maximum duration a sponsor can issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is up to 12 months if the migrant has consecutive engagements covering the work duration; however for non-visa nationals including EEA/EU nationals, a visa would need to be applied for if the duration of work is longer than 3 months. After the initial 12-month duration for visa nationals, the visa can be extended in the UK for up to a further 12 months with a new CoS being issued if required for a total of 24 months. This is still to be considered as a ‘Temporary Worker’.

If the applicant makes a successful application for entry clearance on the Temporary Work – Creative Worker route, they will be granted entry clearance for whichever is the shorter of:

  • ⇒ a period starting 14 days before the first engagement and ending 14 days after the final engagement, if the applicant has consecutive engagements
  • ⇒ the period of the role on the CoS plus 14 days before and after, if the applicant does not have consecutive engagements; or
  • ⇒ 12 months

If the applicant is a non-visa national or who is eligible to apply for permission to enter at the UK border, they can be granted permission to enter for a maximum of 3 months . (Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa concession).

If the visa national applicant makes a successful application for permission to stay on the Creative or Sporting Worker route, and they are continuing to work for the same sponsor, they will be granted permission for whichever is the shorter of:

  • ⇒  a period ending 14 days after the final engagement, if the applicant has consecutive engagements
  • ⇒  the period of the role on the CoS plus 14 days, if the applicant does not have consecutive engagements
  • ⇒ 12 months or
  • ⇒ the difference between the period the applicant has already spent in the UK as a Creative or Sporting Worker and 24 months

Upon successful application for entry clearance into the UK on the Temporary Work – Creative Worker route, the applicant will be granted entry clearance for whichever is the shorter of:
• a period starting 14 days before their first engagement and ending 14 days after their final engagement, if the applicant has consecutive engagements
• the period of the role on the CoS plus 14 days before and after, if the applicant does not have consecutive engagements; or
• up to 12 months

We recommend returning to your home country soon after your work engagements have ended, however there will be a 14-day tolerance period after work dates have ended to ensure you can return home before your visa expires resulting in the temporary worker becoming an illegal overstayer.

If the applicant is a non-visa national who is eligible to apply for permission to enter at the border, they can be granted permission to enter for a maximum of 3 months subject to the discretion of the border force officer at the port of entry. If the non-visa national applicant has had adverse immigration history, they are advised to obtain a successful entry clearance application prior to arrival into the UK.

If the applicant makes a successful application for permission to stay on the TW – Creative Worker route, and they are continuing to be sponsored with ENT imm as the applicant’s third-party sponsor, they will be granted permission for whichever is the shorter of:
• a period ending 14 days after the final engagement, if the applicant has consecutive engagements
• the period of the role on the CoS plus 14 days, if the applicant does not have consecutive engagements
• up to 12 months; or
• the difference between the period the applicant has already spent in the UK as a Creative or Sporting Worker and up to 24 months

The Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) has been implemented by the Home Office to ensure settled UK workers have the opportunity to apply for jobs in the creative industries before they are offered to migrants overseas. Sponsors must ensure that the work could not be carried out by a settled worker and all options have been exhausted to find workers who are part of the UK’s resident labour market, before filling the vacancy with a foreign worker.

However, the RLMT requirements would be deemed met for a creative worker who has satisfied the UKVI’s conditions if they can provide evidence that they are someone with an international status in their field. This means that the creative worker must be known outside of their country of residence. Examples of this would be an actor with international status or a singer with international status.

It also applies if the creative worker is part of a unit company, which exists overseas and has performed at least once with the unit in another country. Unit companies are generally found in Circus troupes or acts, Dance companies, theatre groups, orchestras and other musical groups.

RLMT will be deemed met if you can satisfy and provide evidence that the creative worker has a certain attribute or appearance which is unlikely to be found in the UK. Example of this could be their physical appearance or talent or a linguistic or vocal skill for example an actor or singer.

Commonly in film, tv and media productions, creative workers are needed for continuity of work when the migrant has worked on the same production outside the UK, before the UK segment of work commencing, for at least one month or more during the past year. ‘Same production’ encompasses work that is largely the same in terms of direction and design as the production that will occur in the UK.

RMLT does not apply for creative workers covered in the shortage occupations list. The Shortage Occupation list can be found via the following link. shortage occupations list.

ePassport gate (‘e-Gate’) cannot be used by Temporary Work – Creative worker CoS holders entering the UK to work. Nationals from the below listed countries who would normally be eligible to use the e-Gate with their ‘chipped’ passport to enter the UK as a visitor, will have to avoid using them when entering the UK on a Temporary Work – Creative worker work permit.

⇒ European Union countries

⇒ European Economic Area countries and Switzerland

⇒ Australia

⇒ Canada

⇒ Japan

⇒ New Zealand

⇒ Singapore

⇒ South Korea

⇒ United States of America

Upon entering the UK, a Temporary Work – Creative worker CoS holder MUST always see a Border Control officer at the relevant immigration checkpoint, in order to confirm their right to work in the UK and request ‘permission to enter’.

Please note that you strictly must NOT use the automatic Egates even if you are from an eligible country. Please request to see an Immigration Officer who will endorse your passport with an inked stamp, which will have the relevant permission and leave conditions.

Failure to not see a Border Force officer and using the Egate in error will mean you do not have permission to work in the UK. Therefore, any work that is undertaken after this would be illegal, and could result in legal ramifications for the migrant and us the sponsor. You will have to leave the Common travel Area (United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands) and upon re entry have to see a UKVI Officer. Please print and use the Aide provided below before travelling to the UK.

AIDE for non visa national

**Please note Tier 5 route has now been replaced by Temporary Work – Creative worker route.

A Tier 5 visa allows an individual entry into the UK for temporary work purposes under various circumstances, including creative or sporting purposes. T5 temporary workers are required to be sponsored by a UK licensed sponsor, regulated by the Home Office. The sponsor issues a digital Certificate of Sponsorship, or commonly known as a work permit, for the temporary worker to submit with their application when they apply for entry clearance. This can occur prior to travelling to the UK or on arrival at a UK port, if they are eligible through the T5 Creative and Sporting visa concession, which is reserved for non visa nationals and EU/EEA nationals.

A Tier 5 work visa under the Creative and Sporting route can be applied for by individuals or groups who have been offered temporary work in the UK as a creative or sports person, who ‘make a unique contribution to the UK’s rich cultural life’ or ‘make a significant contribution to sports at the highest level in the UK’. It is also applicable to the creative worker’s technical or supporting staff (‘entourage’).

The UKVI has setup creative codes of practice which must be adhered to by a UK sponsor, in order to ensure that the temporary worker does not displace a suitable settled worker. The codes of practice in Appendix Temporary Work – Creative Workers codes of practice cover the following 6 areas:

• ballet dancers
• dancers other than ballet dancers
• performers in film and television
• performers in theatre and opera
• workers in film and television
• fashion models

If there is no code of practice in place, and the job is not an occupation listed on the UKVI’s shortage occupation lists, the applicant must prove that they will not be displacing a settled worker. UK productions should make attempts to fill the role with a settled worker by advertising the post, to give settled workers an opportunity to fill the role.

The overseas national may be exempt by virtue of them being who they are – for example, an actor with international status, or a senior creative grade crew such as a director, producer or cinematographer. Alternatively, if there is no CoP. You can apply the principles from the codes of practice to the sectors, which don’t have a code of practice.

The remote clearance process is a concession that allows non-visa nationals and EEA/EU Nationals who will be travelling to the UK from Ireland, to apply for permission (rather than a visa), before they arrive in the UK, subject to eligibility.

In order to use the remote clearance process, the worker must:
• meet the general eligibility criteria to enter the UK under the Temporary Work – Creative worker visa concession
• enter Ireland from a place outside the Common Travel Area (CTA)
• travel from Ireland directly to the UK
• apply for permission to enter at least 72 hours before they arrive in the UK; and
• not be subject to ‘right to work’ checks

The worker must enter Ireland from a place outside the CTA before proceeding directly to the UK. The worker cannot use the remote clearance process if they arrive in Ireland from another place within the CTA.

The applicant, or the applicant’s sponsor must complete the Temporary Work – Creative worker concession at least 72 hours before they arrive in the UK. If the application is successful, the clearance form will be endorsed with permission to enter and this will be returned to you or the worker electronically. Please note that the temporary worker’s passport will not be stamped.

HOW CAN WE
HELP YOU?

The ENT imm team will guarantee CoS issuance is completed in good time, ensuring no holdbacks in regards to your entry clearance application. By handling the work permit issuance process, we take the stress out of applying to work in the UK.

Contact us today and learn more about how we can save you both time and money in relation to your immigration matters.

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